Monday, May 28, 2012

Maternal Tenacles


author's note:

A savanna is a wasted only within the context of this poem.


MATERNAL TENTACLES

Our forerunner
--Lucy--
was discovered in
a wasted savanna

yet recently when
I looked down and within
I found the tiny skeleton
in my lonely wicker basket--!--

yes, this white man
carries a small black woman-child
in his belly--!--who knows
what we hold!

Now, having seen
I can not reject
something so delicate:
the paternal and maternal
have become as one:
I’m determined to return
that desiccated fetus to life--

as I soothe her in my sling
I begin to lactate in the soul,
yes---

I can feel my milk
slowly expanding--
I can not stop this spill--
I can not stop without drying--
I can not stop this spill
from spreading its tentacles
--albeit, tentatively--
beyond the borders of my domain--
desirous of touch, yet
still afraid:
      my feelers have encountered
      blunt objects before
      and been blunted.

But as I continue
this fledgling spreading
I can see the snail gray
beneath Lucy's fingertips
begin to bleed back to pink.

Soon I can open this box
without fearing the hard light
will crush her to powder--

we will prove
even a desert can be fertile:
we will defy this dryness--
we will bloom.


© 2012, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio

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3 Comments:

Blogger Goldenrod said...

Such a fragile poem ... quite fitting for Lucy. She starts her exhibit here in Houston, I believe.

There's an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts now that's been here for a while. I really must get over there before it goes somewhere else. I forget what it's called now, something about the mind? No, that's not right. (The inside/outside views of the human body is what it's all about, showing the interconnectiveness of it all.) Supposed to be quite extraordinary.

While I have little interest in going to see Lucy, I thought you might like to know, Michael, that -- in my opinion -- there has been a great deal of sacredness and respect for her evidenced in the advance publicity for this show, and in interviews with the museum staff and various archaeologists.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Goldenrod said...

I just remembered the name of the exhibit ... "Body Works" (might be one word only, but the name's correct).

9:18 PM  
Blogger Goldenrod said...

Ye Gods! Not the Museum of Fine Arts ... the Museum of Natural Science. Come on, Goldenrod, focus!

9:19 PM  

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